Challenge Day a success!
Wed, May. 2, 2012 - [Loras]

The Loras College Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and Department of Athletics hosted a Challenge Day for Special Olympics Iowa athletes on April 28 inside the Athletics and Wellness Center.


During the four hour event Olympians, volunteers, and student-athletes combined to participate in a series of adapted games and activities. The day included opening and closing ceremonies, torch-passing, a national anthem, and award ribbons at each station the Olympians completed.


"I thought the event was excellent," Associate Director of Athletics Denise Udelhofen said following the event. "I thought the volunteers and student-athletes were phenomenal throughout the day."


"I think out student-athletes gained a whole new perspective on Special Olympics athletes. They were able to brighten each other's day with the interaction and cheering."



Udelhofen worked with Kathy Irving, the Director of Athlete Initiatives, to coordinate the event.


"Kathy agreed that the Loras student-athletes were a major catalyst behind one of the most successful events they have hosted," Udelhofen noted.


Many of the Special Olympians were participating with severe and profound disabilities.


Loras College women's soccer player Kinsey Campbell, who serves on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, helped coordinate the Duhawks' role in the day.


"Our student-athletes did great," Campbell said following the event. "It was truly an amazing experience."


"The best part of the whole event was that the student-athletes and participants were able to make a difference for each other," Campbell added. "I felt like both groups benefited from the day. We helped them through their games and activities and it was an eye-opening experience for us!"


The 2011-12 academic year is the first in a long-term partnership between NCAA Division III and Special Olympics. The partnership is designed to improve the lives of Special Olympics athletes through their involvement with Division III student-athletes and to foster a mutual learning experience between Division III student-athletes and Special Olympics athletes.